Zprávy HCJB 16.1.2003

   (Assist News Service) – Bible, ne bomby do Iráku? Pro Libanonskou Biblickou společnost a mnoho dalších misijních skupin pracujících na Středním Východě je odpověď snadná. Právě se chystají Bible odeslat a zajišťují, aby se dostaly na místo určení, říká novinář Geoff Stamp. Říká: „Válka mezi Západem a Irákem není odpovědí na krizi vyvolanou terorismem. Musíme se modlit, aby k ní nedošlo a aby nepřišli o život nevinní lidé a ani vojáci. Bůh chce, aby byli spaseni, ne aby zahynuli bez poznání Jeho lásky. Dodávka zahrnuje 124.000 Čtení na každý den a tisíce Nových Zákonů, Biblí a dětských biblických dějeprav. Zásilky pro Irák jsou odesílány z Ammánu v Jordánsku a z Bejrútu v Libanonu a i odjinud.“ Stamp žádá křesťany, aby se modlili za zdárné doručení zásilky, které ohrožují špatné cesty a nepřízeň počasí. Koncem roku 2002 Libanonská Biblická společnost spolupořádala v Bagdádu první dětský festival, kde byly rozdávány ilustrované Bible v arabštině.

*Tato a další zprávy jsou (pouze v aktuální den) v originální anglické verzi zde.

In Haiti a strike by public transportation workers has paralyzed the Caribbean nation's two major cities. Rioting and violent protests broke out Tuesday in Cap Haitian over sharply rising fuel prices and the government elimination of a subsidy program. Eva DeHart, who serves with an organization called For Haiti With Love, says the ministry's clinic workers helped treat some of the wounded. "God had us exactly where we were supposed to be when we were needed. As they brought the injured people into the clinic, the entire family came with them, and then they just didn't leave. They felt safe." Meeting physical needs furthers their mission's goal of reaching Haitians with the love and compassion of Christ. DeHart urges believers to pray. "The Haitians have nothing at this point. Everything that we're seeing is just a combination of frustration and desperation. They are at a total survival level." (Mission Network News)

* HCJB World Radio worked with local partners in Haiti to help establish local Christian radio ministries in Port-au-Prince and Tortue Island.


Bibles or bombs for Iraq? To the Bible Society in Lebanon and many other mission groups working in the Middle East, that's an easy question to answer. They just want Bibles to go in and they are making sure that they get there, says photojournalist Geoff Stamp. "War between the West and Iraq is not the answer to the terrorist crisis," he says. "We must pray against this happening and taking the lives of so many innocent people as well as soldiers. God wants them saved, not killed, in ignorance of His love." Shipments containing 124,000 Scripture calendars and thousands of New Testaments, Bibles and Children's Scriptures destined for Iraq will be sent from Amman, Jordan, and Beirut, Lebanon, in the next week. These materials are being sent by the Bible Societies in Jordan and Lebanon [and another unnamed ministry]." Stamp asks Christians to pray that the Scriptures would arrive safely despite muddy roads, rainy weather and possible delays in customs. In late 2002 the Bible Society in Lebanon participated in the first ever Children's Festival in Baghdad, launching the Arabic picture Bible. (Assist News Service)


Two months after a violent shooting incident drove them from their native village in Mexico's Chiapas highlands, 27 Tzotzil-speaking evangelical Christian families remain homeless and in hiding for fear of reprisals from powerful caciques (traditional village leaders). Adding to their plight, authorities in San Cristóbal de las Casas have issued arrest warrants for 11 of the refugees. The Tzotzil peasant farmers face charges ranging from battery to attempted homicide and illegal arms possession. The caciques accused them of firing high-powered rifles at them during the Nov. 14 confrontation in which seven persons sustained bullet wounds and other injuries. But the 109 men, women and children of the village of Los Pinos who sought asylum in the district capital following the violence, say it was the caciques who fired the lethal shots after provoking a violent confrontation with evangelicals. Human rights attorney Abdias Tovilla says the Chiapas caciques have used harassment tactics against Tzotzil Christians for years in order to discourage them from practicing their evangelical faith. At press time, Tovilla was seeking a federal injunction against the arrest warrants in an effort to buy time for the 11 evangelicals, and to present evidence in their favor. (Compass)


Latina 2003, the first Urbana-style missions conference to be held in Latin America, drew more than 600 young people to Panama Jan. 8-13 as they attended presentations, workshops and worship service and considered God's call. "Preparation" was the key word as participants looked for training and guidance to continue their present ministries or search for God's will for their lives. Participants were challenged to look past the superficial images of God that are often developed to His real person and what it means to serve Him. Angel De Marco of the Latin America Mission told the opening assembly, "Finally, I was challenged to look at Jesus Christ as a person, not as a religious system or set of doctrines." Latin youth today are "part of a privileged generation," Brazilian theologian Valdir Steuernagel told the assembly. "You can see the church grow and explode while the church of our fathers was small and had an inferiority complex. You are a generation that when you think of missionaries, you think of sending instead of receiving." Many of those in attendance are thinking just that. "This is a year of decision for me," said John Edward Herrera of Armenia, Colombia, who recently completed his engineering degree. "I am trying to see the will of God, whether I should work with youth at home or go to another country." The conference, coordinated by a consortium of 11 Latin American mission agencies led by Latin America Mission, was patterned after the Urbana. But instead of focusing just on foreign missionary service, attendees were also encouraged to consider Christian service in their own communities. Organizers are planning similar regional conferences throughout Latin America and looking ahead to another continental assembly in three or four years. (Latin America Mission News Service)

* HOXO, a cooperating radio ministry of HCJB World Radio, broadcasts Christian programming across Panama City 24 hours a day via AM and FM. Although most programming is in Spanish, programs also air in Cantonese and English.


While the persecution of believers across India is on increase, Open Doors is helping Christian pastors, leaders and other believers by conducting "Standing Strong Through the Storm" seminars in the country. In the seminars, teachers give students the tools they need to stand against persecution, discussing questions such as, "Why does God allow suffering?" John Mathews, a regional representative for Open Doors, recently returned from a trip to India and was impressed by the quality and effectiveness of the seminars and with the dedication of the participants. "Despite the persecution, they want to press forward with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Because of the persecution, their churches are growing and that is encouraging to them. They were at the seminar to meet with other leaders who were experiencing the same thing, and thus they could network and encourage each other. It was very touching to see. One pastor had been killed recently. His widow was there, and the other pastors and leaders reached out to her to encourage her." Mathews urges believers to pray that the church India would continue to grow while standing strong against relatively new persecution. (Assist News Service)


In 1937 1 million (11 percent) of 9 million Australian children attended Sunday school or a church-related activity. In 2000 attendance fell to just 200,000 (1 percent) out of 20 million. Less than 5 percent of Australian children are connected with a local church. Children ages 4-14 are five times more likely to make a meaningful decision to follow Jesus Christ than any other comparable age, indicate George Barna surveys. In response, denominational leaders and children's ministries across Australia are supporting a "Year of the Child 2003" project that will give special effort and attention to the needs of children, enhancing existing ministries and enabling initiatives to create closer connections between children and local churches. (www.yearofthechild.org.au)

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